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How Your Network Shapes Your Net Worth

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As a physician, have you ever noticed how the environment of a hospital or clinic rubs off on you? Think of senior doctors or mentors during your residency or early days of practice. Their approaches, diagnostic acumen, and patient interaction styles had a way of shaping your own. Think how others in your lifetime have influenced you. Their beliefs, strengths, and energy shape the way you think and act. 

This underscores a vital concept in professional, financial, and personal growth: Your network is your net worth.

I'll emphasize this repeatedly – you need to get close to people you want to learn from and emulate. This means not only connecting online (which is beneficial) but also in person when possible. This includes shaking their hand, meeting them for coffee or dinner, and having genuine face-to-face conversations.

The more conversations you engage in, the more opportunities you have to gain insights that can profoundly change your life. Remember the thrill of cracking a challenging case with a team of specialists? That’s collaboration.

When I wanted to delve into real estate investing, I surrounded myself with successful real estate investors, many of whom were physicians. I looked for people to model and connect with. I asked many of them to talk over coffee or lunch. No one taught me these insights during my training. These conversations gave me the confidence to start investing, altering the trajectory of my life.

Expanding your network introduces you to diverse perspectives, experiences, and opportunities. Many of you might have your current job due to a connection. Think about this: who did you know that provided insight into that position or perhaps it was a senior physician or a med school connection that helped you land it? 

Someone in your network could be the link to your next job, investment, or side hustle, all of which can impact your financial future. Ultimately, it influences your net worth and, most importantly, control over your time.

We exist in a vast network where relationships and interactions significantly impact our growth and success. Proximity is Power. Surround yourself with people who inspire and push you to excel. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who were neighbors, co-founded Apple after being introduced by a mutual friend. This close proximity led to a powerful collaboration that revolutionized the tech industry.

The saying, "You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with," by motivational speaker Jim Rohn points to the profound influence of our close-knit social circles on our lives. This simple yet profound statement highlights how our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are shaped by the individuals we interact with regularly. Consider the power of collective thinking and its effect on you. Being surrounded by positive, ambitious physicians means their energy and perspective might influence you. You might find yourself adopting their ambition, resourcefulness, and even their optimistic outlook on life. Over time, these traits become ingrained in you, propelling you toward growth and success.

By the way, the opposite is also true. If you surround yourself with pessimistic and unhappy people, well, you can guess how that might impact you. So, evaluate your current network. Do these connections help you live your ideal life? If your ideal life consists of practicing medicine while having a thriving family life that is filled with a ton of travel, are you surrounding yourself with people who are living that sort of life or aspire to? How are they able to make things happen? What tools and resources do they use?

Build Your Network With the Three Cs

If you believe your network isn’t optimal, how can you enhance it? I recommend the three Cs: Conferences, Courses, and Communities.

Conferences are goldmines for networking. Elon Musk's attendance at one led him to the PayPal team, a connection culminating in a $1.5 billion acquisition.

Conferences aren't just for learning more about your specialty and to obtain precious CMEs. They’re also an excellent way to meet like-minded peers and industry experts. Take, for example, The Physician Real Estate & Entrepreneurship Conference [PIMDCON]. This conference brings together physician real estate investors and entrepreneurs at all levels of experience, providing an unique opportunity for physicians to share knowledge, network, and collaborate.

By participating in courses relevant to what you’re trying to learn, like real estate courses, it can open doors to an array of networking possibilities. We already know that the right class can help us accelerate our learning and help us avoid painful mistakes. Not only can you gain crucial knowledge, but you might also have the chance to interact with experienced mentors and other fellow students – many of whom can provide the guidance and accountability that you need.

Communities, both in-person and online, can widen your networking horizons. A group like the Passive Income Docs Facebook Group is a powerful example of this. With thousands of members, this group offers a platform for physician real estate investors and entrepreneurs to actively share advice, resources, and opportunities. 

With today’s technology, building a robust network has never been easier. In fact, I’ve seen physicians build massive networks using the three Cs within a short period of time leading to huge gains in their net worth. Networking is about forging relationships, not simply accumulating contacts. Here are some quick actionable tips:

Be genuine: Authenticity attracts. Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder, was authentic, drawing people toward him. This isn't about exchanging business cards; it's about creating lasting connections filled with value.

Give before taking: Benjamin Franklin once said, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another."  Adding value to your network is a surefire way to strengthen your connections. This could be in the form of sharing insightful content, providing solutions to challenges, or simply lending an ear when needed.

Always ask, "How can I help?" when interacting with your network. This could be providing advice, sharing relevant articles, or offering to connect them with someone who can assist them.

Follow up: The fortune is in the follow-up. A single meeting isn't enough; relationships need nurturing. Send a simple follow-up email or text to say something nice and set up the next time you’ll connect. This shows you value the connection.

Strong relationships mean everything. It’s the quality, not just the quantity, of connections that matter. Remember, proximity is power. To boost your net worth and take control of your life, take the time to nurture these relationships, provide value to your network, and let these connections fuel your journey. You never know when you’ll be presented with that next great opportunity or resource that changes the trajectory of your life.

Peter Kim, MD is the founder of Passive Income MD and offers weekly education through his Monday podcast, the Passive Income MD Podcast. 

Image by DrAfter123 / GettyImages

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